Welcome to our weekly feature, “Question Of The Week.” As you can tell from that entirely original title each week we pose a question to our panel and they chime in with their opinions. No one sees one another’s responses until the story is posted, so each contributors thoughts are their own. Responses are posted in no particular order.
And remember, as with all editorials, the views expressed in this editorial are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Cliqist.com.
The question of the week for the week of 6/1/14 is :
What are some of your video game Kickstarter pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeves is when development teams drastically underestimate the funding they’ll need for their project. It’s great to try to keep your budget tight. It makes it easier to meet your initial goal and get into stretch goals, but too often I see games with a ton of potential asking for a bare-bones budget. Guys, the unexpected will happen. Give yourselves some wiggle room. If you end up with a little extra funding, just put it towards coffee and a server budget.
Even though I love crowdfunding and Kickstarter it would be silly to act as if there’s nothing about campaigns that can annoy me. One of those things, that thankfully seems to be lessening, is the propensity for unknown developers to try and offer rewards like the “big guys”. Unfortunately for them, having a dinner with New Developer Team is not nearly as enticing as a meal with Tim Schafer. Another pet peeve is simply seeing a campaign that rarely updates anyone (backers or non-backers). This is a big no-no in the crowdfunding scene! You simply must continue to provide regular updates so that people feel assured your product is really on the way. Of course, don’t take it too far in the other direction either where you update a million times a month. Instead, try creating a development blog or forum that touches on every little feature but leave Kickstarter posts as meatier digests.
Oh boy, that invites a little bit of a rant. One of my biggest pet peeves for video Kickstarter campaigns are videos put together that don’t explain anything about the game. I understand the concept of building anticipation, exciting crowds, etc. But when I take a look at campaigns, I’d like the for the video to really sell it to me. Show me some solid gameplay (if possible). Talk about why your game needs funding. I run into the vague and obscure videos infrequently but when I do – I find myself wanting to toss my keyboard around and blurt out profanities. Campaigners need to really get the viewer interested in the game, maybe make them laugh a little bit, and solidify that connection. Miscellaneous shots without much purpose, semi-dramatic music, and a weird narration saying things like “You only have one choice..” aren’t going to sell the game to me, my friends, my dog, or your dog. First impressions are important so let us know what your game is about and why you’re even capturing our attention for roughly 3 minutes. Bah!
Charlotte “Charlie” Humphries
My pet peeve has to be a two-minute opening with no communication. The developers will be talking, but not telling me anything important or useful. I want to know what your project is about, why I should back you rather than another team, and how exactly my pledge will be used.
Also, my other pet peeve when it comes to Kickstarter videos is unnecessary music, especially when it’s so loud I can’t hear what the person is saying. I like clear communication in a video with, if possible, screenshots and footage of game-play. And kittens.
I could go on and on about this, so keeping it to about 100 words isn’t going to happen. However, I’ll break it into my biggest pet peeve from an editor standpoint, and from a backer standpoint.
As an editor it blows my mind that someone with gameplay in their video won’t include screenshots on their Kickstarter, or game website, pages. Resorting to doing screenshots from the video just means that your game is going to look fuzzy in the screenshots we post.
As a backer I can’t stand the uneven nature of campaigns launching. One week we’ll have nothing but third tier campaigns that make me cringe, and the next there’s three or four high quality ones that I want to back as much as possible. While people argue that Kickstarter isn’t a zero sum game, that’s not entirely true. The argument is that just because Reading Rainbow is raising millions of dollars (for some reason), that doesn’t mean that A Song for Viggo will earn any less overall. What if I like both campaigns? I don’t just suddenly have more money to give to Kickstarter projects just because there’s multiple projects that I want to back. If I budget $50 a month and there’s only one project I want to back then it’s getting $50. If there’s 10 projects I want to back then someone’s losing out.
Have a question you’d like our panel to answer? Post it below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your toughest crowdfunding questions!
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